Romans (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)
The Remnant of Israel
1I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”a? 4And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”b 5So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.c
God, you make it so clear that you chose me by grace. I so did not deserve to be chosen. Why you chose me, I may never know, but I know for sure I did not deserve it. Father, I must trust you even to keep me for I know I can fall so easily. It is all you, and none of me. The less of me the better for the myself and everyone else! Praise you Father.
Lord, I beg you to choose, if you have not already, my wife and children. Please bring them home. Lord, please, let us all praise you together forever and ever. All the glory would be yours Lord, for I am nothing.
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes so that they could not see
and ears so that they could not hear,
to this very day.”d
9And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”e
Holy Spirit, though you have saved me and changed me, I know my heart can be hard. My ears can be deaf to you. My eyes can be blind to you. Even now, I know you are calling me to something different, but I do not know what, I know I must have patience. I feel like the call is not for now, this instant, but I must start to prepare for it now. Open my eyes and my ears and my heart of Lord. Help me to easily hear and obey.
11Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!
Lord, I thank you that you did not allow me to stumble beyond recovery. Perhaps it isn't possible to stumble beyond recovery! You brought me back to you, over and over. Please Lord, use my sins and my stumbling to magnify the glory of your mercy. Make it a great victory for you, but please do not let me stumble again. Keep me close to you.
13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as first-fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Lord, please make me an example to my family that they envy the mercy I have received from you, and seek that mercy themselves. Change me Lord. Jesus, make me like you in love and peace and kindness. Change me so I am a servant, not a master. Help me to give my life as you did.
17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Please Jesus, keep me humble and close to you. I know I can fall in so many ways. Pride and self-confidence have led me to such destruction in the
past. Please Lord, keep me, please. I need you so completely and I know without you my life will crumble. Keep me close Lord, please.
22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
Father, I respect your sternness. I ask that you not let me wonder far from you but discipline me quickly when I stray from the path you have marked out for me. Do not let me go back to being a wild olive branch.
23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
All Israel Will Be Saved
25I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
when I take away their sins.”g
28As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.
Father, thank-you for your gift and your call. I have disappointed you so often, but you have not left me. Instead you train me and bring me home again. I must trust you to do the same with those I love. I cannot control them, thankfully. I have made so many mistakes I know I would do them more hare than good. My worrying does nothing. It is all up to you Father, both in my life and in theirs. You must call and keep. Amen.
30Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowh receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
father, we are all sinners. I am so sorry for the conceit and self-righteousness I once had. It was so awful and I failed to show your love so often. What a hypocrite I was! Even as I write these words I fear I am still not seeing my own sins. I still don't understand the grandeur of your mercy. Open my heart Father. Humble me more and help me to bring you glory by living in your mercy.
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”j
Yes Father, how can we begin to fathom Your greatness and wisdom? When I follow You, even though it seems so foolish, it is total wisdom in the end. Why would I ever doubt You? Help me to know Your will and follow it completely. Help me to abandon this world for Your love.
35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”k
Lord, it is so true. I owe You everything, and everything I have is Yours. I can be so foolish and proud about my "stuff", when I really have nothing. And yet, through You I have everything.
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Please Holy Spirit, help me to bring You glory through everything I do. Please direct me and give me the courage to follow Your direction.
a 3 1 Kings 19:10,14
b 4 1 Kings 19:18
c 6 Some manuscripts be grace. But if by works, then it is no longer grace; if it were, work would no longer be work.
d 8 Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10
e 10 Psalm 69:22,23
f 27 Or will be
g 27 Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9; Jer. 31:33,34
h 31 Some manuscripts do not have now.
i 33 Or riches and the wisdom and the
j 34 Isaiah 40:13
k 35 Job 41:11